This week we’ll gather with loved ones and give thanks for a multitude of gifts in life: great family, lifelong friends, delicious food, a warm place to sleep – But how often will we stop to say thanks to our boss, or great co-workers, or loyal and productive employees?

Our client Globoforce, a social recognition firm based in Southborough, Mass., has conducted extensive research into the benefits of thanks and recognition in the workplace and found that employees who feel recognized for their work are more motivated, more engaged, happier in their job, and more committed to stay with their company for the long run.

You see, when you express thanks and gratitude to employees for a job well done, you’re not only validating employees’ efforts and letting them know you appreciate their hard work, you’re providing employees with a sense of meaning in their work. That meaning, Globoforce has found, is a crucial component of having a happier and more loyal workforce, as employees expect to be treated as human beings in the office.

Like our friends at Globoforce, here at Greenough we focus on creating a “human” workplace by doing things such as: celebrating employee birthdays each month; acknowledging and rewarding employees for their work anniversaries; offering complimentary boot camp classes three times a week; hosting weekly happy hours on Fridays with different themes of employees’ choosing; organizing holiday and summer outings; and even letting employees bring pets to the office.

The job market is competitive and employees know that as the economy recovers they’ll have more and more options for work if they’re unhappy or unsatisfied in their jobs. So, as Thanksgiving quickly approaches, take a moment to walk around your office and thank employees and colleagues for their work and contributions to the company. Then take it a step further and think about creative and inexpensive ways that you can give back to your employees, not just during the holiday season but year-round. Giving thanks doesn’t take much effort, but the benefits to your company’s culture and overall success will be enormous.

Rachel Vaccari is an Account Director at Greenough. Follow her on Twitter: @Rachel_Vaccari